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Committee, appointed for the purpose, forwarded a petition to the Legislature, praying that the name of this Society might be changed to that of Massachusetts Baptist Convention, with the liberty to make a transfer of its funds to that body; all of which was in due time attained.
What the Trustees have done in regard to this subject, was this day submitted to the Society, and received their cordial approbation. It is fondly hoped that this measure will be found well adapted to subserve the interests of Home Missions in this State, and throughout the country—When these new arrangements were agreed upon, the Board invited Rev. Alonzo King, Secretary of the State Convention, to act as their agent in collecting and receiving monies for Home Missions. Since January last he has continued to operate for the Society, except when he has been prevented by ill health; and the Board regret to say that by this means he has been laid aside from his labors about six weeks of the time.
So far as he has had opportunity, he has endeavored to bring the churches to act on a wise and systematic plan, and so to manage their charitable collections as to save, as far as possible, the labor and expense of agencies. But comparatively a small amount has yet been paid into the Treasury: much more has been pledged, and monies to a considerable amount, raised for Home Missions, have been forwarded to the American Board at New York, without passing through your Treasury.
Wherever Mr. King has travelled, he has been kindly received; and had it not been for the imperfect state of his health, he would have accomplished more for the Society. The Trustees regard Mr. King as possessing the requisite qualifications for an agent, and will regret much, should he be obliged to retire from the important business in which he has been engaged.
The Board would here express their conviction that a judicious and efficient agent ought to be constantly in the field; and are confident that the churches are so far ripe for action, as that such a man would obtain from them liberal annual contributions in aid of the Home Missionary enterprize. Let the merits of this enterprize be properly presented to Christian friends in this State, and it is believed they will be as ready to sustain it, as their brethren in any other section of the Union.
During the year before us, much must be done; money must be obtained, and obtained in this State to a liberal amount, or the Board of the parent Society will continue to be embarrassed and limited in their operations, and our denomination fail to contribute their proportion in the immensely important work of saving this country from the baneful consequences of error and vice, and of training up its myriads for a glorious immortality. That Society at its third Annual Meeting, held in Richmond, Virginia, on the 4th of May, passed a resolution declaring it to be the duty of the churches to raise 50,000 dollars, to aid the Executive Committee in their important labors the present year.
The Trustees were gratified to learn this fact, and hope that the churches in this State will efficiently co-operate with their brethren in other parts of the land in furnishing the above amount.
The Board of that Society have found it less difficult to engage men to labor in the missionary field, than to obtain the means necessary to sustain them there. Many are ready to go and toil hard in endeavoring to cultivate the moral wastes of our land, if they can only receive a comfortable support. Those employed are self-denying laborious men, whose efforts have been blessed with very encouraging success.
This will be confirmed by referring to some of the facts contained in the Report of the Board presented at their late Annual meeting. During the past year, the Board have had under appointment 96 missionaries and agents, who have been distributed as follows, viz. in Upper Canada, 2; in Lower Canada, 1; in Vermont, 1; in New York, 1; in Michigan Territory, 12; in Ohio, 16; in Missouri, 11; in Maryland, 4; in Tennessee, 7; in Alabama, 2; in Mississippi, 1; in Arkansas Territory, 2; in Louisiana, 2. Four others are so located as not to be confined in their operations to any one State or Territory.
The published statistical “table exhibits the appointment of more than 93 years of missionary labor, and the performance of 68 years and 5 months labor, during the year which has now closed. The discrepancy between the statement of labor appointed, and that which was performed, is accounted for by the fact, that many of the appointments were made at so late a period that their respective times have not expired.”
Although previous to the preparing of the Report, only imperfect returns had been received from some of the Missionaries, and from others no returns, yet it is stated that by their instrumentality "about 60 churches have been constituted, at least 2,500 added to the churches by baptism and by letter; and probably half as many more hopefully converted, besides much that has been done to promote the interests of Temperance, Sabbath Schools, Bible Classes, Bible Societies, and various religious charitable objects. Multitudes have heard the Gospel who would otherwise have been destitute of the privilege, while the ordinances of religion are more generally respected, and moral principle is exerting a stronger infuence on the public conscience.”
Of those baptized, 43 were Catholics, one of whom has entered the Ministry with cheering prospects of usefulness. From every part of the extensive field, the Committee are continually receiving calls for “help, more help, and help immediately." Each correspondent who writes on the subject, presents the peculiar claim of his own place or vicinity, that it is at once the most destitute, and yet the most promising field that can engage the attention of the Board. In reference to this fact, the Report states—“ These representations go to sustain several positions that there is an iminense amount of moral destitution in the denomination; that the people are willing and anxious to receive missionaries; that the supply increases the demand; and of course that there is encouragement to continue and increase Home Mission efforts.'
The present state of our country is acknowledged to be critical. It is generally conceded that “if the present ratio of increase
shall continue for the next 20 years, a majority of the American people will be found on the west side of the Alleghanies. Then the destiny of the country, as to its civil and religious condition, may and probably will be swayed by the inhabitants of the great Valley. And is it too much to believe, that the moral condition of the world will be materially affected by the influence which shall
go forth from that interesting portion of our land? All parties appear to be aware of this fact, and all are wishing there to gain a strong hold for themselves, where their favorite designs may be accomplished.
On this subject, important and spirit-stirring sentiments may be found in the last Report of the Executive Committee of the parent Society. It is there stated, "The character of the mighty West is not yet formed; the moral elements, which are to compose it, exist in a plastic form, and they are in a state of rapid combination. This, then, is the critical period in the history of the Valley, when effort is felt
, and every blow will tell; any impression may easily be made, and every impression will be likely to be permanent. A most momentous experiment is making, many and widely different influences are at work, and every philosopher and statesman, but especially every philanthropist, and patriot, and Christian, should feel a deep interest in the process and for the issue. “ Infidelity is there endeavoring to settle his strong points for exercising an influence in undermining the public faith, and destroying the public conscience, and thus blighting the present enjoyment and withering the future hopes of the people. Popery, more rapacious and acquisitive, is there claiming the appropriation of the whole Valley to the See of Rome. Its purpose is formed, and its plans of operation are settled; its points of influence are fixed on, and swarms of its emissaries are already on the ground, priests and teachers, monks and nuns of various orders, Jesuits and Dominicans, Sisters of Charity and Sisters of the Blessed Heart. These votaries of Rome are confident of success, sustained as they are by foreign funds, offered with a liberality which ought to shame the comparative parsimony of Protestants.”
But there is a brighter side to this picture. Protestant ministers and missionaries are also upon the ground. Evangelical Christians of different denominations are directing their attention to that important field, and are making strenuous efforts to avert the evils which seem to threaten our beloved country. The American Home Missionary Society has 719 missionaries under its patronage, and raised for their support the last year 89,250 dollars. These missionaries performed the last year 488 years of labor; and received as members of the churches, by profession, 3000. About 250 of these missionaries are laboring in the great Western Valley. There are probably about 1600 evangelical missionaries now in the field, and the number is constantly increasing. Through their influence, houses of worship in great numbers are annually erected; Sabbath schools and Bible Classes are organized, and every worthy and benevolent effort is fostered and strengthened.
Multitudes of the disciples of Christ in all parts of the land are sending up to the throne of Jehovah their earnest, believing, and persevering prayers, that he would bless and succeed the means employed to save the country from the evils with which it is threatened, and its teeming millions from miseries, infinitely dreadful, to which they are exposed. Shall we then cherish desponding fears? Will not God, for his own name's sake, hear these prayers, and bless these efforts, and spare our guilty land? We will cherish the pleasing sentiment. But in order that we may not be disappointed, our efforts in this cause ought at once to be doubled, and our prayers, specially for this object, should be more frequent and importunate, and accompanied with a more vigorous exercise of faith. Shall not this be done by the members of this Society, and by our Christian friends throughout this State? We are urged to this by motives of overwhelming interest. Our children, our country, and the everlasting destiny of millions of our race, all call upon us to improve the present favorable opportunity to give the Gospel in all its purity to the inhabitants of every portion of our land. Let this Tree of Life be planted in every village and in every family of this great nation, and we shall have nothing to fear. Let this be done, and the union and prosperity of our growing Republic, our civil, literary and religious institutions, will be perpetuated to the latest generations. And more than this,-our country will take a leading part in those mighty, benevolent efforts, which are destined, under God, to transform this world into a bright emblem of the celestial Paradise; and here countless myriads will be trained up for the everlasting glories and raptures of heaven. And if all Christians would but awake and come up to the help of the Lord, if they would faithfully and untiringly perform their duty, why Inight not this age be the age of the world's redemption? Why should the work of heavenly mercy linger, when God has placed in our hands the means of urging it onward, and is encouraging us to employ them, for this immensely important purpose! At this eventful period of our country's and the world's history, shall we prove recreant to our Divine Master, who has redeemed us by His own precious blood, and is inviting us into the field of holy effort, and condescends to admit us as workers together with Himself in the magnificent enterprize of bringing back this alienated world to its infinitely glorious Sovereign? No, brethren, we must not.
Let this Society, under its new name, efficiently prosecute the great work before them; let its members sustain and encourage the feeble churches in their midst, and furnish a liberal amount of pecuniary means to aid the parent Society in their benevolent operations; and God will be glorified, and the blessing of many ready to perish shall come upon them. In closing this Report, the Board would say, “Let us go up at once and pussess the land, for it is a good land; and the Lord our God being with us, we are well able to overcome and possess it.”'
Subscriptions and Donations to the General Convention of the Baptist Denomination, in the United States, for Foreign Missions, &c., should be transmitted to Heman Lincoln, Esq., Treasurer, at the Baptist Missionary Roome, No. 17 Joy's Building, Washington Street, Boston. The communications for the Corresponding Secretary should be directed to the same place.
examination. Just at evening, had much conversation with several strangers. They appeared to feel
that their old foundation was not EXTRACTS FROM THE JOURNAL OF
secure. It is a blessed privilege to MR. KINCAID.
preach Jesus Christ in regions where (Continued from page 201.)
his name is known; but I think it a
still greater privilege to point these In a letter accompanying the journal,
poor heathen to the Lamb of God. dated Sept. 17, 1831, Mr. K. writes, The number of promising inquirers “ The number of inquirers is not great, but is small, but we bless God that his still we hope for good things even in Ava. mercy is not entirely withdrawn. O The school continues in the same state as that we had more of that love, and when I last wrote. I have entirely re- compassion, and devotedness, which covered from my long illness, and Mrs. is shed over every part of our blessed
Saviour's life. Then might we hope K. is blessed with excellent health.”
to see the Gospel honored in awaJune 22, 1834. Lord's-day morn- kening the heathen, in turning them ing. Preached on the coming down from their dumb idols, to serve the of the Holy Spirit on the day of Pen- living God. tecost, and the subsequent opera Aug. 14. For about sixty days I tions of the Spirit in changing the have been able to do hardly any heart. At 4 o'clock in the afternoon, thing. About the 20th of July I I read and explained the words of began to think it doubtful whether our Saviour—“This is my body, and I could rise from this bed of sickthis is my blood," &c. Seventeen ness; but through the mercy of God, in number comniemorated the suf- my complaint took a favorable turn ferings of our Lord Jesus, three of soon after, and I have been imthem for the first tiine.
proving ever since. I feel desirThe wife of Moung Kai came for- ous to labor morc faithfully for the ward and requested baptism. This cause of Christ. While confined to female violently opposed her hus- my couch, a window which opened band, till within three months past. inmediately before me, gave a view One time, her opposition or enmity of the whole range of pagodas and of heart was so great and resolute, temples on Sagaing hills, and these that for a month she did not speak monuments of the reign of sin conto her husband. The enmity of her tinually haunted my imagination. I heart is now destroyed. From morn- thought of the ages that are past, ing till night she will listen to the the millions and millions of people words of God, and converse about that have sit in darkness and seen the things of the kingdomn. I ap- no light. I thought of the present pointed next Sabbath for further state of this great empire, and of the